Wall Street Journal
In our age of a powerful administrative state and weak Congress, some of the most consequential government officials are the little-known heads of alphabet-soup federal agencies. One of them is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was designed as its own regulatory fiefdom insulated from accountability. So it’s worrying that President Biden’s nominee to head the agency wants the administrative state to extend its reach into political speech.
Mr. Biden sent the nomination of Rohit Chopra, an Elizabeth Warren protégé and commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, to the Senate last week. Senators who want to understand Mr. Chopra’s thinking about the role of regulators in American democracy might crack open a report he co-authored in 2018 for the Roosevelt Institute. It envisions an unaccountable Washington “corruption” czar writing rules, issuing fines and working his will over politicians, think tanks and nonprofits.
The report proposes to allow tax-exempt donations to nonprofits only if the donor is forbidden from “using outputs of the organizations receiving the gift to promote its interests.” That’s a selective political condition, as nonprofits aligned with the bureaucrats at PIPA would be said to be promoting the “public interest” rather than that of their backers.